TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Known for helping with speech, reading and physical therapy, those at the Regional Rehab Center do so much more.
For Easley McCain, they brought out his personality.
“We went from not being able to sit up to at 16-months walking. We really didn’t know if he would ever be able to walk,” Clarissa McCain, Easley's mother, said.
For a year, Easley has worked with Kammie Riddle, an early intervention specialist, and Gretchen Brown, an occupational therapist.
He has hypotonia, which is a low muscle tone that affects every part of the body.
“They’re trying to work for him to have age-appropriate developmental skills,” Clarissa said.
“He’s walking now. So, now that he’s walking, he can use some of that focus that he’s had toward movement and put it towards communication a little bit more,” Riddle said.
To Easley, each session is a ball of fun, but to Riddle and Brown, they are working on his developmental skills.
“That’s sort of the secret of being a pediatric therapist," Brown said. "So, even though my goal may be to work on fine motor skills, for him, it’s stacking blocks or it’s coloring.”
Each day begins with Riddle to work on his communication. Later, Brown works on his movement.
“You do have to become their friend," Brown said. "They have to trust you and if they trust you, they’re willing to go out of their comfort zone and do new activities. And sometimes they do become a little ill, but you just work on it, and then they get excited when they’re able to accomplish a new goal.”
A year later, Easley is no longer the quiet and still little boy he once was but instead, he is very independent.
“It’s a whole different Easley," Riddle said. "He’s all-boy and he loves balls and he loves seeing how much he can carry at once.”